By Shakespeare's Girl

"He jests at scars that never felt a wound." -Romeo and Juliet

It hurt. Raw and angry and painful. He couldn't breathe sometimes, for the horrible, slamming pain that attacked his chest.

He gasped back the sobs that threatened, and pulled himself upright. He never cried. He couldn't afford it. Only when he was completely alone, somewhere that no one could hear him, would he allow himself to vent the emotion he trapped inside.

He smiled brightly at whoever was passing his desk, too consumed with pain to really see.

Why? he wondered. Why? I'm only one person! I can't save the world AND feel this way all the time. It's too much. I hurt too much.

He straightened again, breathing deeply. He couldn't stay here any longer. He grabbed his coat and nearly knocked a staff reporter over on his way out of the Daily Planet building.

It didn't ease his pain any to be out doors. Not even fresh Kansas farm air would help.

I have to see him, Clark thought. He walked toward the building he wanted, deliberately slow.

Finally he stood before the skyscraper that housed LexCorp. He pulled himself together, concentrating on the top floor of the building, where Lex had his penthouse. The image shifted and he could see inside the building. He saw Lex pacing the floor as he shouted at someone on the phone. Clark didn't have the will to listen in.

He watched, saw Lex throw the phone against the wall and watched as it shattered into a thousand pieces. Clark swallowed. If only I could go to him.

But they were separate now. Lex Luthor and Clark Kent were no longer inseparable. They had drifted apart, until, finally, Lex had thrown him out.

If you don't think I'm worth your time, then you aren't worth mine! Never let me see you again, Clark Kent! Lex had warned. If I do see you, I'll find the biggest piece of Kryptonite I can and chain you to it until you're either dead or permanently damaged, whichever comes first! Now get the fuck out!

Clark had meekly left, the rage Lex was in convincing him that it was useless to resist the shouted orders. But he couldn't function anymore. He was dangerously close to loosing his job, and he couldn't remember the last time he'd payed his rent.

I'm ripping apart, he realized, staring at Lex's tiny form, because without Lex, I have no reason anymore.

Lex had helped him find the balance between Clark Kent and Superman. Lex had filled the role of nurturer, of best friend, and of lover. Lex had been his world for so long, he couldn't imagine life any more without him. Now he was living a half life, unsure how to go on now that his soul was missing.

Lex suddenly whirled around inside the penthouse, his face a mask of anger and confusion, his eyes blazing with determination. It looked as if he knew Clark was watching him, and was outraged at the audacity of the action.

Clark whimpered, the anger in the usually serene blue eyes burned worse than anything he'd felt before. He couldn't force himself to straighten as he crumbled to the ground. He closed his eyes and as the pain roared into agony, he collapsed on the sidewalk.

The wound of Lex's complete anger was more than he could bear, and Clark thought that maybe he would never get up again.